This week at lessons many students have worked on setting the conditions for playing in tune with good tone before playing a note. Here are the checkpoints to try before playing the first note. These three steps really help ensure that the bow makes a good sound and the notes are 90% more likely to be played in tune.
1. Really Bent Thumb and Bent Pinkie on Bow Hand.
2. Notice that it might be possible to bow over the (bent) Left Hand thumb positioned just next to the first finger tape.
3. Check to see that the squirrel* is on his/her nuts**.
*I used to try to draw a squirrel on the finger, but now just draw the hole that he/she lives in. (below I’ve drawn the squirrel with a green dot)
***The nuts refers to the place on the violin that is called the nut… that little ridge that the strings rest on at the end of the fingerboard (pic below)… The squirrel isn’t on top of the nut but rests quite gently next to the edge of the nut.